The annual Bethpage Turkey Drive to benefit Island Harvest Food Bank will take place on Friday, Nov. 20 from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
At the 12th annual food drive, a no-contact donation car drive-through will enable residents to remain in their cars while volunteers remove donations from vehicles. The Bethpage Turkey Drive will take place at Bethpage Federal Credit Union’s headquarters located at 899 South Oyster Bay Road in Bethpage.
Long Islanders are asked to donate frozen turkeys, non-perishable food items or cash donations. These donations will go directly to Island Harvest Food Bank, which will help supply Thanksgiving meals to the more than 300,000 food-insecure Long Islanders through its distribution network of over 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other feeding programs on Long Island.
Non-perishable food items needed include canned goods, cereal, pasta, rice, boxed juices, and shelf-stable milk (please, no glass containers). Smaller sized frozen turkeys are particularly needed, to accommodate for this year’s smaller family gatherings.
For those unable to make a donation on November 20, or would rather show their support online, Bethpage is accepting online monetary donations at www.lovebethpage.com/turkeydrive, beginning in November, through the end of the holiday season.
“Our message this year is to support your neighbors! Countless families continue to have financial struggles. Let’s help them enjoy a holiday meal,” said Linda Armyn, senior vice president, Bethpage Federal Credit Union. “We are taking all the necessary safety precautions with our first contactless drive-through. Residents will not be allowed to leave their cars. All of our volunteers will be wearing masks and removing donations directly from car trunks and back seats.”
“The economic upheaval caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a greater need among Long Islanders seeking food assistance, many for the first time,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president & CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. “We are incredibly grateful to Bethpage Federal Credit Union for their support and generosity throughout the year, and look forward to another successful Bethpage Turkey Drive to help food-insecure families enjoy a more hopeful holiday season.”
Patches will be given to all Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts who make a donation. A troop leader can also come, make a donation, and bring back patches for the entire troop.
Since the first Bethpage Turkey Drive was organized in 2009, hundreds of community volunteers have come out to assist in the collection of more than 33,000 turkeys and over 130,000 pounds of food, which were then given to Long Island families facing hardship in time for the holidays. Island Harvest Food Bank has seen an increase in the requests for food and support services among the 400 community-based agencies it serves.
About 70,000 individuals receive food assistance from the Island Harvest Food Bank network each week.